Are you sick of shopping at fast-fashion retailers? Do you want to maintain a look that is on-trend, but still unique? Online retailer Shoptiques, which sells a curated selection of apparel from international boutiques, might just be the answer to your prayers.
Shoptiques recently hosted a talk and shopping event at the company headquarters in central Manhattan, where consumers could purchase and try on clothing that is normally exclusive to the website. Olga Vidisheva, Shoptiques founder and Harvard graduate, talked about the birth and growth of the company.
Vidisheva, 31, was born in Kyrgyzstan and raised in Russia, where self-expression through one’s clothing was nonexistent. When she was a child, she designed her own clothing on paper and her mother sewed her creations.
As Vidisheva got older, her love of fashion continued. On a trip to Paris years ago, she discovered a pair of shoes by Phoebe Cham Pour Schu at a small boutique.
“I knew I couldn’t leave empty handed,” she said.
From here, the idea for Shoptiques was born.
“I started Shoptiques because I couldn’t believe it didn’t exist already,” she said. “I love shopping small boutiques, so why couldn’t I have done that online?”
Vidisheva travelled and shopped in places like Rwanda and Dubai and combined her international selections with finds from local boutiques. She launched the ecommerce site in 2012. The site, which initially sold designs from 25 boutiques, now includes offerings from 5,000 boutiques.
Vidisheva feels that each boutique adds something different to the site. “Each one is special in its own way, but they all have something in common: beautiful, hard-to-find pieces and a knowledgeable owner with a distinct style-perspective,” she said.
The main goal of Shoptiques, Vidisheva said, is to provide women with easy access to unique apparel they might not discover on their own.
“Whether you’re starved for time, looking to find something new, or you live far away from one of your favorite stores, Shoptiques is your online destination to browse, discover, and buy the best boutique merchandise in the world,” she said.
The event featured six different racks of trendy, yet beautiful clothing. The assortment included floral rompers, leather jackets, billowy tops and embellished chiffon pieces. The customers—young, hip 20-somethings—had smiles on their faces as they put together outfits.
Vidisheva would not name numbers, but said the event was definitely a success.
It was the perfect way for the company to research their consumer in person and further tailor the site’s content as it expands internationally to places like Australia and the Netherlands.
“We absolutely love these events—they allow for us to share our story in a very intimate setting,” Vidisheva said. We also love talking to our customers on their shopping habits and what else we can be building to make it an amazing online experience.”
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